Video: Burger King Employee Pours Fry Oil Into Storm Drain (Franchise Owner Responds)

A Burger King restaurant has been under fire because of a video posted to Facebook. The one-and-a-half-minute clip, posted by local Lake Worth resident Joseph May, shows a man in a Burger King uniform dumping the contents of a fryer bin into a storm drain.

The video, posted on May 8, has since gone viral, with more than 800,000 views, and was picked up by WPTV.  In the video, May is clearly concerned by what he was witness to, narrating that the employee was instructed by his manager to dump the oil into the public drain. Accompanying the video, May posted the following:

"Wanted to wait until it was on the air but this was really messed up. Saw this yesterday on my way to Chilis. Burger King employee dumping used oil right into a storm drain. International franchise and they cant pay for a disposal company?! How often is this happening? Everyday? Twice a day? Someone needs to be held accountable for this. And yea, it was without a doubt, used fry oil. It was steaming hot. Share this so everyone can see what these people are doing! 

Now, the owner of the Burger King franchise, located at 6405 Lantana Road in Lake Worth, has spoken with New Times.

Johanna Estep, president of the franchise company that owns and operates that particular Burger King, admits that one of her employees did, in fact, dump oil into the drain.

"We don't know why he did it, and we didn't know it was happening at the time." 

Estep says that the restaurant has a proper method of disposal in place. "We have stainless-steel tanks to hold the grease and hire a firm to collect and dispose of the used oil."

Estep says that once she was made aware of the incident, steps were taken to address the issue, including hiring a plumbing firm to vacuum the grease from the drain. "The EPA did show up, and we told them about the plumber we hired. They found no oil in the drain. They also came inside and asked to see the disposal container and were satisfied with what they saw."

Though Estep would not identify the man in the video, she did say that a thorough investigation was performed and measures were taken to ensure this didn't happen again, including terminating a general manager for performance issues.

Estep added that the incident is something she is taking seriously. "This is nothing we would have condoned. We apologize to our customers and to the community."

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